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Wabote bags Nigerian Content Champion award, recounts 83% completion of Nigerian Content roadmap

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The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote has been honoured with an award as the Nigerian Content Champion and Executive Secretary, NCDMB (2016-2023) at the closing ceremony of the Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The 12th Practical Nigerian Content Forum 2023 got underway on Tuesday at the Nigerian Content Towers, Yenagoa, with the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote announcing that the agency has completed 83 percent of the 96 initiatives it started under the Nigerian Content 10-year Strategic Roadmap.

The strategic roadmap was launched at the end of the year 2017, with the goal of increasing Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry to 70 percent by the year 2027. The roadmap is undergirded by five pillars and four enablers to drive the focus areas and are supported with short, medium, and long-term initiatives.

Presenting the scorecard of the NCDMB at the PNC which is attended by over 700 oil and gas stakeholders, the Executive Secretary indicated that the Board’s focus would shift to the remaining initiatives, which according to him required some heavy lifting to bring them to fruition.

He reported that the Nigerian Content level in 2023 stood at 54 percent, just like in 2022. The calculation is based on the Board’s monitoring and evaluation of industry activities.

According to him, “This performance is well above the minimum target of 47 percent Nigerian Content set for 2023 by the Board’s Project Management Office (PMO) just like we outperformed the 42 percent Nigerian Content target set for 2022 by achieving 54 percent Nigerian Content.”

He indicated that the top three performers of in-country spend are Shipping, Surveying/ Positioning services, and Inspection/ Testing and Certification with each at 100 percent NC level, while the bottom three performers are Modification and Maintenance at 26 percent NC level; Health, Safety and Environment at 31 percent NC level; and Materials and Procurement at 32 percent NC level.

He expressed concern that the stagnation of the Nigerian Content achievement at 54 percent raised questions on whether we had reached a point of stagnation or an inflection, leading to the decline in Nigerian Content level in the oil and gas industry.

The NCDMB boss, who was making his last PNC Keynote Address as the Executive Secretary of NCDMB reminded the top government functionaries and industry stakeholders that “getting the industry to this level of Nigerian Content is not a walk in the park,” and called on all stakeholders to “play their part to prevent the industry from rolling back to the dark days of implementing Nigerian Content as a token of consolation.”

He cautioned that, “The nexus between high Nigerian Content levels and the relative peace in the industry must not be lost on us,” noting that a “lack of leadership backing at all levels opens the door for the practice to take the back seat.”

The Executive Secretary took the occasion to present what he termed “a reflection on the journey in the last seven and a half years of being in the saddle as the Executive Secretary.”

Citing data from the Board’s Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGIC-JQS), he said registered indigenous industry operators have increased from 53 in 2018 to 114 in 2023, while indigenous service companies increased from 8,000 to 11,000 within the same period. Also, individual registrations surged from 140,000 to almost 400,000.

Under one of five pillars of the Roadmap, namely, Technical Capability Development, are other major accomplishments, one of which is the increase in in-country fabrication capacity from 60,000 tons per year to 250,000 tons within the aforesaid period.

Engr. Wabote disclosed that eight industrial parks being developed by the Board to support manufacturing and assembly of equipment and input materials required in the industry are at various stages of execution. He reported that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGaPS) at Emeyal-1, in Bayelsa State, and a similar Park at Odukpani in Cross River State are due for commissioning in the first half of 2024.

In a goodwill message, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, commended the NCDMB for its outstanding performance in local content implementation, and for the ongoing PNC Forum.

He assured the industry stakeholders that the Federal Government is committed to promoting cleaner, more sustainable practices within the energy sector, even as the country continues with hydrocarbon extraction.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Lokpobiri was represented at the PNC by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda. He said Nigeria aligns with the global push for environmental stewardship and would explore all means of making production processes conform to cleaner technologies.

While drawing attention to the theme of the Forum, “Deepening Nigerian Content Amidst Divestments, Domestication and Decarbonisation,” the Minister called on stakeholders to “embrace the challenges that have been posed by divestment to actively promote domestication and steadfastly pursue the path of Decarbonization.”

The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, lauded the NCDMB and its Management for extraordinary successes and charged participants to explore avenues for collaboration, joint ventures, and partnerships that will help Nigeria to fully harness Nigerian Content potentialities.

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Adeleke bags fellowship award on infrastructure devt

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Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun has bagged the fellowship award of a socio-cultural group, Ede Unique Club of Nigeria, in recognition of the various infrastructural development projects embarked upon since his assumption of office.

Spokesperson for the organisation, Prince Wale Ojetimi, said in a statement on Tuesday in Osogbo that the investiture of the fellowship award would hold in Ede on Thursday, as part of the organisation’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Ojetimi said that the award was a testimonial to Adeleke’s personal achievements and his progeny’s remarkable contributions to the socio-economic and political development of Osun and Nigeria at large.

He said that the governor would also perform the inauguration of the N5.5 million solar-powered facility donated by the club to the State Hospital in Ede.

The spokesperson said that the solar-powered facility was part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility component of its 40th anniversary.

He said that the event, to be presided over by the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal, will feature an anniversary lecture to be delivered by a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Prof. Mojeed Alabi.

According to him, among the prominent individuals to receive special recognition awards at the event is a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Wale Abass.

 Abass recently retired from Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as AIG after 35 years of service to the country.

The club is a non-partisan, socio-cultural organisation of leaders in business, academia, the professions and public service who have excelled in their various chosen fields and are contributing positively to the society, both in Nigeria and the Diaspora.

The organisation, established in 1983, engages in human capital and social development, focusing particularly on development of young people.

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Sallah: No security breaches in Ebonyi — NSCDC

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Tuesday, said so far there has not been any security breach as Ebonyi residents join other Nigerians to celebrate Eid-el Fitri.

The State Commandant of the corps, Dr Elijah Willie, said in Abakalikii that the celebration in the state has been peaceful.

Willie said he was monitoring operations of his personnel deployed across the state especially at security flashpoints.

“We deployed over 700 personnel across the state to ensure maximum security during the celebration.

“We are maintaining the same security deployment used during the sit-at-home directive of an outlawed group in the south east zone, on May 30.

“We are working in synergy with relevant security agencies  to ensure that there are no security breaches across the state,” he said.

He urged the citizens to continue being law-abiding and provide security agencies with relevant information to combat crime.

“I advise criminals to repent or leave the state as the NSCDC and other security agencies would make life very uncomfortable for them.

“The citizens should see security agencies as their friends because protecting their lives and properties is our business,” he said.

He thanked Gov. Francis Nwifuru for his support to security agencies in the state which, he said had made their work easier and more efficient.

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Enugu residents turn to charcoal stove as kerosene price soars

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Some Enugu residents have jettisoned their kerosene stoves, opting for charcoal stoves instead due to the high cost of kerosene which currently sells for between N1,350 and N1,600 per litre.

A market survey on charcoal on Tuesday in Enugu, revealedthat many people now prefer charcoal for cooking due to its affordable price.

A charcoal seller in Garki Market, Grace Umeh, said that although the price of charcoal had risen from N5, 000 to N8,000 per sack; the patronage had continued to soar.

Umeh said the increase in patronage was because an average family of five could use up to 20 litres of kerosene in a month for their cooking.

“So, the family spends over N20, 000 on kerosene in a month.

“On the other hand, a bag of charcoal will last for two months, no matter the pressure of use, for the same size of family,’’ she said.

Another seller at Mayor Market, ObyOkafor, said that most families were buying the commodity in large quantities due to the high cost of kerosene and other energy sources.

“We have continued to experience good and profitable business for some time now in this charcoal business,” Okafor said.

Mrs Christiana Ozor, a charcoal dealer at Achara Layout, said that due to increase in patronage, she now sells more than two bags a day.

Some buyers said that using the charcoal for cooking had saved them a lot of money.

Mr Gilbert Nnamdi, a father of four, said the new charcoal stove introduced to him by his friend had helped him to reduce the amount he spent on kerosene.

“With only N200 charcoal my wife can cook a pot of soup and a pot of rice for the family no matter the quantity of the food.

“This new charcoal stove does not take time to catch fire and does not bring out smoke while cooking with it,” he said.

Another charcoal user, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that she had been using charcoal since the increase in the price of kerosene.

“I stopped using kerosene when the price increased to N900 and because I am afraid of using cooking gas, I quickly opted for charcoal as a means of energy cooking source,” she said.

Food vendors are not left out in the rush for charcoal because they can no longer afford the prices of kerosene and cooking gas.

A restaurant owner, MsIjeoma Dim, explained that the high costs of kerosene and cooking gas had given charcoal a sudden prominence.

MrOforAnyawu, added that charcoal sellers now made brisk business due to the price increase of other cooking energy sources.

Anyawu called on the government to make all cooking energy sources affordable and available for the masses, especially in the face of economic challenges in the country.

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